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DIY Easy Visa Run from Bangkok – Kanchanaburi to Burma Myanmar

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It’s visa run time! If your visa has run out and you want to stay past the initial 30-day stamp or other tourist type visa in Thailand, you’ll need to make a visa run. From Bangkok the options are almost endless with two international airports at your disposal. To stay on the ground though, a one-day bus trip (plus a few other shorter legs of the journey) will get you the stamp and paperwork that you need.

The Cambodia visa run is popular but a new border option has popped up on the Burma side, which is a shorter journey and, for the moment a quieter, a fairly smooth-going route that you can actually organize cheaply on your own, without a visa run company.

 

Burma – Myanmar Immigration building… though it’s hard to tell from afar

Here’s what we did:

DIY Easy visa run from Bangkok

  • Catch the bus from Bangkok victory monument exit 2 (departs every hour): 2 hours to Kanchanaburi (KB)

(There is also a minibus from Koh San Road apparently)
Comfort level: average to low (depending what seat you get in the 13-seater white van)

  • From KB take a taxi to border crossing. We paid the same taxi from KB to do the whole run (Kanchanaburi to Thai immigration, then to Burma immigration, back to Thai immigration, back to KB) at 1100 baht.

Sequence of events & cost:

  • Bus to Kanchanaburi (mini bus): 120 baht
  • Taxi to Thai immigration (and through to Burma immigration if agreed in advance): approx 1100 baht, round trip
  • Start visa process at Thai immigration – register at Thai office, fill out new arrival departure card: - pay 900 baht visa fee (used to be 700 but now changed)
  • Exit Thailand on foot – make a stop at the next window at the border crossing – old departure card will be removed and passport departure stamped
  • Travel to Burma border – a 4km, dirt road, unassuming building with no immediately visible sign when approaching (same taxi from KB)
  • Hand over passports for processing (they take copies and produce a doc for their records- on the slowest printer ever!), then Burma stamps received
  • Take a token photo with the Burma flag: priceless
  • Travel back to Thai immigration
  • Hand over passport for visa processing again at Thai immigration (opposite side of the road to entry point).  Receive stamps dated depending on your visa type – know how much time you’re supposed to get & check if stamped correctly
  • Enter Thailand on foot, then hand over passport again at the opposite side of the road where you originally began the visa process, for arrival immigration (they will take arrival card that you filled out on the way in)
  • Grab a Thai iced milk tea (one of the tastiest I’ve had): 30 baht
  • Travel back to KB (with the taxi/song thaew you came with)
  • From KB, grab a minibus or coach back to Bangkok (victory monument or koh San rd): 110 baht (for Victory Monument)

Dirt roads, on the way back to Thailand, looking back on Burmese immigration buildings

Timing: We left around 8am from Victory Monument and returned around 5pm

Cost: 1680 baht per person for two people (without optional extras, with organizing the taxi from KB to do full visa run)

Other options: From Kanchanaburi there are “visa run” taxi services you can hire to pay one price – approx 1800 per person.  You still need to get to KB.

Conclusion: It was much more quick and painless, as well as less busy and hectic, than the other visa run we did from Phuket to Burma.

Token photo with Burmese flag

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14 Comments

  1. Florian

    March 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    900! We paid 700 just 2 weeks ago. Actually, it should be ~300 Baht, $10 USD like at the other Burmese borders. Maybe a good idea to rent a scooter in Kancha, skip the unofficial skimmers next to the coffee shop and do everything yourself.

    Btw, you can save a good deal of money by going with the bus to the border from Kancha 10:30am, 11:30 am and 12:30 am for 70 Baht and then take a taxi back for 500 Baht. The dutch owner of the coffee shop can arrange the taxi back.

    • DNTM Editor

      March 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the additional tips! Yeah, when we went on the 5th March they said that they had just raised the price to 900 baht.

  2. John

    March 18, 2014 at 3:58 am

    900? Is that for the Thai extension? The Burma side is either 500 baht or $10 US, whichever you have.

    • DNTM Editor

      March 20, 2014 at 1:02 am

      900 baht is for Thailand immigration for the Thai visa extension.

  3. Troy

    March 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Hey,

    can you recommend to take a motorbike tour on your own to the boarder from Kanchanburi? Rent a bike for 250 THB and then go by yourself?
    Or are roads terrible and the way not easy to find (google maps on my smartphone should be alright?)

    I love riding and this sounds really interesting to do. Visa Run and riding a scooter (because in Bangkok you just dont want to ride).

    I have to go to a boarder in the next 3 days – so a quick reply would be nice.

    • DNTM Editor

      March 20, 2014 at 1:01 am

      I don’t think it’s possible, however I’m hesitant to “recommend” it either way as we don’t have that experience. I don’t have evidence that has been done before. What i can say is, there are two potential issues I can think of with driving yourself: 1. Even though we came in a taxi we were required to walk across the border and the taxi met us on the other side, I don’t know what happens if you are driving yourself; 2. When we were on the Burma side driving to immigration I remember thinking- how does anyone find this place. It’s literally in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road turn off, no signage on the road or buildings.
      Oh and just thought of one more: 3. Unlikely they will let you take the rental across the border. Even taking the bike out of Phuket province for us within Thailand is apparently not allowed.

  4. Troy

    March 20, 2014 at 8:20 am

    thanks for fast reply :) Ill go there then the “normal” way with taxi and see how it turns out.

    • DNTM Editor

      March 20, 2014 at 8:43 am

      You could perhaps take the bike to the thai border, then if needed take a motorbike taxi or car taxi to burma immigration and back. I’m not sure if this would save much money but if you’re keen to travel by motorbike it could be an option :)

      • DNTM Editor

        March 21, 2014 at 5:58 am

        Troy, I read the other comment you submitted but have not included it. I did want to reply though. I’m not sure why you’re under the impression that you have to get a visa for Burma. This post is specifically for a Thai visa run to Burma (not spending any time in Burma). We didn’t need to get any visa for Burma before hand or pay anything at Burma immigration. There is no need to get a Burma visa for a Thai tourist visa run.

  5. Troy

    March 27, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Okay. In the end I went with Myanmar. I took a bike to Cambodia because of easy VOA.

    I went with the bus to Chachoengsao, rented a motorbike over there and ride all the way to Cambodia. Took around 3 hours to ride with motorbike to get there and 2 hours to get with the bus there.

    Result: I cant recommend it. The street is quite boring to get to Cambodia, no exciting landscape where you love to ride.
    Its too long drive with 3 hours each way + bus.
    i actually had to sleep in Chaochoengsao beacuse I didnt catch the last bus to BKK when I arrived late.

    So rather just go with the bus to Cambodia. I meet a Chinese dude who took a public bus from BKK to Cambodian boarder for 200 Baht. So it seems to be cheap to get to Cambodia. Just takes time. 4-6 hours for a bus trip each way. Or 5-7 hours for bus + motorbike each way.

    • DNTM Editor

      March 29, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Thanks for the additional information. I also just saw that Richard Barrow posted about a Cambodia visa run on Twitter here :

  6. Denis

    February 5, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Is it still possible to do this visa run from Kanchanaburi border To Myanmar?

    • DNTM Editor

      February 5, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Hi there, I believe it is still possible. You might want to check in with others that have done it recently – you could try the Facebook group – Bangkok Expats https://www.facebook.com/groups/bkexpats.kc/. I tried to find recent posts on thaivisa.com or other sites but no luck. All the best.

  7. Day's

    May 27, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Try this service its very easy!

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